If the enemy of our souls could be counted on to mount his attacks against us dressed in a red suit, with horns and a pitch fork, he’d be easy to identify and equally easy to repel.
But the Christian life isn’t that straight forward.
And our enemy is way too cunning to be that obvious.
I was reading Isaiah 39 this morning about the final days of King Hezekiah.
During his reign as king of Judah, he had walked through some intense battles with the Assyrian army surrounding Jerusalem. He had heard the voices of the envoys of Sennacherib taunting him and the God of Israel.
But through it all Hezekiah was faithful to humble himself and to call on the Lord.
And the Lord heard his cry and delivered him and his people from the hands of the enemy in dramatic fashion.
Years later, when the attack was on his health, and Isaiah told Hezekiah he was going to die, again, he humbled himself and cried out to the Lord and was spared.
So the enemy of God’s people changed his tactics.
In Isaiah 39, the king of Babylon sent envoys to Hezekiah, ostensibly to express concern over his health. “And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly and showed them his treasure house…his whole armory and storehouses.”
When the enemy was obvious and surrounding the city, Hezekiah cried out to the Lord and sought for a word from the prophet.
When the enemy was more subtle, and came expressing concern and sympathy, Hezekiah thought he could handle that on his own and invited the enemy into the palace.
The ESV footnote for verse 2 says it all. “The man whose faith stood firm against Assyrian intimidation now melts in the face of Babylonian flattery.”
It’s not that we have to look for demons under every rock and live our lives always suspicious and on the defense.
But, here’s what me must do…
- Commit to a daily relationship with the Lord,
- Set aside time every day for His Word, His presence & prayer
- Invite the Holy Spirit in every moment, relationship and situation to open your eyes to God’s agenda for you
This is how we won’t be caught off guard.
This is how we won’t succumb to a direct attack or be trapped by the enemy’s flattery.